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Traditional wedding ceremony pulls crowds in Lower Dir

TIMERGARA: After decade-long suffering due to militancy and calamities like earthquakes and floods, people of Lower Dir district witnessed their rich Pashtun tradition of the past by attending a fun-filled wedding ceremony.

A known figure of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the business of real estate, Jehan Alam Yousafzai, arranged the wedding ceremony of his two sons, Muhammad Tanveer Alam Yousafzai and Muhammad Shehzad Alam Yousafzai on Saturday and Sunday by celebrating the wedding in old and traditional way of Pashtun culture at his native village Malakabad Balambat in the district headquarters, Timergara.

The wedding procession first walked for four kilometres from Khaima village in suburbs of Malakabad Balambat with the two bridegrooms riding in a bhagi(carriage) while the two brides were brought in two separate dholis along with drum-beating wedding band ringing all the way to the bridegroom’s house in Malakabad.

Earlier on Saturday night, a traditional Pashto music show was arranged at theirhujra where thousands of lovers of Pashto music converged to enjoy the event.

Rising Pashto litterateur, singer, poet and compere Afsar Afghan, singers Shahid Malang, Mahnoor and others performed on the occasion and got applause from the audience. Happiness and joy was clearly visible on faces at the venue.

“We love our religion but at the same time we love our traditional Pashto music,” said Murad Khan, a participant.

“Pashtuns have been liberal and peace-loving people for centuries,” said Akbar Khan Lala, another participant, adding that it was a pleasure that the twang ofrabab that had been silenced for years by rattling gunfire and deafening explosions was now staging a comeback.

“Dol Surna (music), Janj (wedding procession) and taking bride to the house of bridegroom in traditional dholi was a part of our life for centuries and revival of this old Pakhtun culture is an appreciable step,” stated Malik Ali Bakht, an elder of the village.

More than 10,000 people including bureaucrats, politicians, elders, and residents from various parts of the district and nearby villages were served the same food inwalima.

Talking to this scribe, Jehan Alam Yousafzai said the wedding ceremony was arranged in a traditional way.